Trade and Row is a nonprofit based in Long Beach, CA, that uses art as a starting point to generate dialogue, facilitate and document conversations and raise awareness of young people’s interpretations of important issues in their lives.
The POSTCARD project began in June 2010, when our organization brought teen filmmakers from George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology in Maryland and Good Exposure in Los Angeles together to share their documentary shorts about issues in their communities. Films were screened at the Art Theatre in Long Beach. Issues covered in the films ranged from No Child Left Behind to immigration.
Through bringing together filmmakers from different states, we were able to bring awareness to local issues teens across the country face. The adults who work with the young people were also impacted by seeing their students’ work in the context of others and sharing the experience. Our goal is to enable those shared experiences among the diverse youth populations in Los Angeles County. Without the experience, we lose a chance to encourage integration, dialog and opportunities for young people to find common ground, all of which can be challenging in a region where you often find a racial divide.